“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.”

Ephesians 4:11-13

Rev. Erik Alsgaard

Pastor

Rev. Erik Alsgaard — please, just call him Erik, he said — has served The United Methodist Church since 1984. He graduated from United Theological Seminary in 1986 out of the former Detroit Conference. Erik is a native of Midland, Michigan (home of Dow Chemical), and is a huge fan of all Detroit sports teams, especially the Detroit Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings. He is married to Sheila George, who serves as Director of Communications and Marketing for Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. They have two children and five grandsons. Sheila and Erik love to travel, especially to Italy. They’ve been to Canada several times because that’s where Sheila was born. They’ve also traveled to Germany, Belgium, England, Wales, the Netherlands, and South Africa.

Erik has served at every level of the church, from being a local church pastor, working at the Annual Conference level, to serving as Assistant General Secretary for Communications at the General Board of Church and Society in Washington. He’s attended every General Conference since 1992, eight in total, serving the church as a reporter/photographer for various Annual Conferences and organizations. Erik comes to Community UMC after serving eight years as Managing Editor/Social Media Editor for the Baltimore-Washington Conference. He’s also served churches in Michigan and Florida. While living in Florida, Erik learned how to drive the Monorail at Walt Disney World, which he did from 2007 to 2010.

Erik’s passion is learning about and sharing the story of the people called United Methodist, and how God has transformed their lives so that they, too, transform the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Katie Foster

Communications and Administrative Coordinator

Katie joined the staff at Community UMC in December 2021. She coordinates the internal and external communications at Community UMC and provides a wide range of operational support to fulfill the church’s mission and vision. You can find her in the church office, balancing social media management, website maintenance, graphic design, and office operations. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communication from Stevenson University.  Before joining the Community staff, Katie worked for a local environmental nonprofit, overseeing their fundraising and communications. Over the years, she’s worked at a PCUSA congregation in Columbia, managed a craft and gift shop in Annapolis, and dabbled in wedding design and coordination. 

Despite having lived in six states, Katie is an almost-lifelong Marylander. She lives in Crofton with her husband Matt, daughter Eloise, pitbull Rhubarb, collection of houseplants, and many unfinished craft and furniture projects. In her spare time, you can find her roaming secondhand stores,  exploring parks with her family, baking with lots of butter, reading, or learning a new craft. As a lover of sustainability and the environment, Katie works part-time at a local eco-market and refillery, and serves on the Board of Directors at Unity Gardens.

Crystal Spalding

Child Development Center Director

Crystal always knew her career would involve working with children. When asked that age-old question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” as a child, Crystal never had to hesitate when she responded with “a teacher!” The education field is in her blood, following in her late grandmother’s footsteps as an educator and principal for over 30 years. As the Director of the Child Development Center at Community UMC, Crystal is excited to be part of our community and work side by side with our young children and their families to provide a safe and nurturing environment.

Before joining Community UMC, Crystal worked as a Senior Staff Teacher at another Crofton preschool for over 13 years with experience in ages two to ten years old, as well as overseeing support staff, managing the social media, and constructing developmentally appropriate lessons and activities. Her administrative experience came shortly after when she became Center Director at a STEM-based learning center in Crofton. This experience opened a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities for Crystal, which led her to Community UMC.

Crystal holds an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development from Anne Arundel Community College and is beginning her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education online.

Crystal enjoys spending time with her family and friends including her adorable nine-year-old daughter, Hailey. Crystal loves the outdoors, whether it’s taking walks with Hailey and her boxer pup, Holly, or biking. Recently, she competed in a 50-mile bike race for MS and is preparing for another one. Her favorite place is the beach, so she loves the summer!